Learn to dive in Sussex, Kent and Surrey with Sussex Scuba diving courses
Instructor Development Courses with Sussex Scuba

Learn to dive in Sussex, Kent and Surrey with Sussex Scuba diving courses

Learn to dive in Sussex, Kent & Surrey with Sussex Scuba diving courses
Learn to dive in Sussex, Kent & Surrey with Sussex Scuba diving courses

About us

What do we offer

Sussex Scuba are a PADI 5 star Instructor Development Centre. Which means that we can offer a wide range of PADI Diving courses from novice right through to instructor. In addition we can offer 20 different specialties along with DAN Oxygen courses and a full range of First Aid Courses

As well as the very high standard of training we also maintain a very well stocked and varied shop, full on site regulator servicing, air and Nitrox to 300bar, tank inspections, dry suit repairs, and a full range of PADI courses including Instructor courses, 19 different specialties, DAN Oxygen Provider courses and first aid courses

We also have our own club which is proving to be very popular with over 100 members. So if you are interested in diver training, dive trips or in joining our club, keep visiting the site or e mail us to get yourself included onto or mailing list.

Our Philosophy

We firmly believe that diving should be fun and safe, with the emphasis on safety. All our instructors have been trained by PADI, the world's largest diver training agency and have therefore received extensive training in all aspects of diving. The two owners have also had extensive training in other sports for over 10 years each and have worked with children and adults extensively. In addition, all instructors have CRB approval thus clearing them to work with children. All classroom training is conducted in our own training school and is always fun and lively. We actively encourage lively interaction and good humour


Our Staff

Meet the team!! The school has continued to grow and we now have 7 Instructors 1 Assistant Instructors and 9 divemasters. All of whom are very experienced and passionate about diving


Denise Lancaster - Master Instructor

Denise is a PADI Master Instructor which is the highest Instructor level rating available. She is also Technical Diving Instructor, an EFR Instructor Trainer, First Aid at Work Trainer, and a DSAT Gas Blender Instructor. She can also teach 18 PADI Specialty courses. In addition she is also an instructor for the following DAN courses: Oxygen provider, Advanced Oxygen provider, Automated External Defibrillator, Hazardous Marine Life Injuries, and Diving First Responder. As with all the team at Sussex Scuba Denise’s number one priority is safety quickly followed by fun. Diving is a great sport for everyone regardless of age size or gender and Denise is very keen to encourage this to everyone she trains. She has been diving for several years and has dived extensively in the UK, particularly the South Coast along with Turkey, Cyprus, Egypt, Tenerife, various Caribbean Islands, Indonesia, and the Philippines

Denise is not only very passionate about diving but she also gains a great deal of enjoyment from helping others to develop and enjoy diving. She has been involved in training and coaching for over 10 years. As a Master Instructor she is qualified to teach instructor level courses as well as 16 diving specialties, including Nitrox, deep, wreck, and Emergency First Responder training. As with all our instructors and divemasters, she has CRB approval. Denise is particularly keen to work with women as she feels she has the necessary experience and knowledge to work with them with and help resolve any issues they may have

Learn to dive in Sussex, Kent & Surrey with Sussex Scuba diving courses
Derek Lancaster - Master Instructor

In accordance with the Sussex Scuba philosophy Derek is passionate about safe diving. All diving should be conducted in accordance with best practice, but it should also be fun, otherwise why bother. Derek has been diving for several years both in the UK and overseas. He has experience diving all over the South coast of England and West Wales, along with expeditions to Tenerife, Cyprus, various Caribbean Islands, Turkey, the Red Sea, Indonesia and the Philippines

Derek not only has a genuine passion for diving but more importantly he has a passion for teaching and working with people to develop their skills and therefore enjoyment. He has been involved in training and teaching adults and children for over 17 years, prior to that was head of training for a major multi national corporation.

As a PADI Master Instructor Derek is also able to teach instructor level courses as well as 18 specialties. He is also an EFR Instructor Trainer, First Aid at Work Trainer, and a DSAT Gas Blender Instructor. In addition he is also an instructor for the following DAN courses: Oxygen provider, Advanced Oxygen provider, Automated External Defibrillator, Hazardous Marine Life Injuries, and Diving First Responder. Derek also has CRB clearance which is necessary before anyone is able to train children.

Learn to dive in Sussex, Kent & Surrey with Sussex Scuba diving courses

Clive Albon - Course Director

The rating of Course Director is the highest status anyone can achieve within the PADI organisation. As a Course Director Clive is obviously able to teach any diving course but he is also able to teach instructor level course. Clive has been diving for 19 years and has been a PADI Professional for 18 of those. For the last 9 years Clive has been a PADI Course Director and has achieved PADI Platinum Course Director (awarded to less than 80 CDs worldwide last year). He has over 2000 PADI Professional level certifications. Clive works in the UK, Malta, Canaries, Balerics and mainland Spain, and instructs all levels of the PADI System from Discover Scuba to IDC Staff Instructor. He enjoys instructing, and when he can't do that goes diving!


Learn to dive in Sussex, Kent & Surrey with Sussex Scuba diving courses

Gary Wilson - MSDT Instructor

Gary is a PADI MSDT and as such can teach all the core PADI courses up to Divemaster, along with 6 other specialties. Gary qualified as a diver over 11 years ago when he took a weeks holiday with a group of friends with the intention of learning to dive. Obviously this was not enough for Gary as he wanted more and more. He joined a small club near his home which gave him valuable experience of UK diving. He also gained qualifications in Power Boat handling. Whilst continuing his UK diving he also continued his dive education completing his Advanced Open Water and Rescue diver during 2006. Gary joined our staff as "casual labour" in 2006, as he just wanted to be involved in a dive centre. He was well utilised in carrying heavy boxes !! Unfortunately even this didn't put him off and he enrolled on the Divemaster course which he completed at the end of 2007. Gary then went onto to achieve Instructor status in February 2009. Soon after which he also qualified as an EFR Instructor. He is also a DAN certified Oxygen administrator and is trained in AED usage. Gary has extensive UK and overseas experience diving all around the south coast of the UK, as well as Tenerife, Turkey, Spain, Minorca, and several Red Sea Trips. Gary quotes the Open water manual as one of his driving forces... "Go places, meet people, and have fun !!!"

Learn to dive in Sussex, Kent & Surrey with Sussex Scuba diving courses

Jason Murphy - MSDT Instructor

Jason has two passions in his life - rugby and diving, with diving being at the top of the list. Jason learned to dive in 2001 in Portugal and from the very first moment he was hooked, and his enjoyment has continued since that day.
Jason originally started his Divemaster course during 2006 but was forced to stop diving due to an injury. Jason joined the team at Sussex Scuba in February 2008 whereupon he started the Divemaster course again.
“Joining Sussex Scuba and completing the Divemaster course has been great fun and a fantastic experience. I have made great friends, and met so many people new to diving. This has to be one of the best jobs around !! Seeing new divers finish their Open Water Courses and seeing the delight and relief on the faces is a very rewarding experience for all of us”. After successfully completing the Divemaster Course during February 2009 Jason completed the PADI Assistant Instructor Course, and finally qualified as an Instructor in December 2011. Jason is also a DAN certified Oxygen administrator, and is trained in AED usage

Jason's diving experience is extensive. He has dived all around the UK – Lundy island, Brighton, Farne islands, Plymouth , Weymouth, Cornwall and Scotland . Overseas diving includes several trips to the Red Sea, Spain, and Portugal .

Learn to dive in Sussex, Kent & Surrey with Sussex Scuba diving courses

Andy Langler - MSDT Instructor

Andy decided that marine biology was the career for him at the age of 8 but he didn't actually start diving until 1997 (at a considerably greater age)! Although the career may have taken a very different direction Andy still retains his passion in marine life and for him one of the great pleasures that diving offers is the thrill of being able to experience seeing the amazing variety of colours and shapes of the fish in their own natural environment. Even the UK waters offer a wider variety than you might think..!
He is a very experienced diver and has dived at many sites around the south and east coasts of the UK including Brighton, Bridport, Plymouth, Northumberland and Cornwall as well as numerous dives in the Mediterranean and the Red Sea. Andy counts one of his most exciting experiences as diving with Great White sharks off South Africa.
Andy has recently qualified as an Open Water Instructor and he is also an EFR instructor as well as being a certified DAN Advanced O2 provider. He is also qualified to teach a number of PADI specialties including Project AWARE and Underwater naturalist courses. It is Andy's aim to really bring alive these PADI courses and to educate and entertain while teaching people about the undersea world.
For Andy one of the most enjoyable parts of teaching is working with students, watching their transition from the early the pool sessions and seeing the beaming smiles that appear as the students become qualified divers.

Learn to dive in Sussex, Kent & Surrey with Sussex Scuba diving courses

Darren Hector - MSDT Instructor

As a photographer, Darren learnt to dive and wanted to use his new skills to take photographs underwater.  He's dived in places as diverse as the UK, Barbados, Indonesia, the Philippines, Egypt and Iceland.  He is an Open Water Scuba Instructor and Specialty Instructor enabling him to teach the full range of core PADI courses, plus ten specialties including Photography, and a course written by Darren specialising in Wreck Photography

As someone who's learnt 'the hard way' and enthusiastically embraced diving with a camera from the beginning, Darren is keen that prospective photographers work on the skills necessary to be a good diver before rushing in. "Buoyancy is tough enough to master when you first learn to dive and it's essential to practice this at every opportunity.  Undertake those few extra dives first and you'll be a safer diver and a better underwater photographer."
Darren is also very interested in marine conservation and the impact of humans on the marine environment.  "Humans seem to use the seas as a dumping ground for rubbish while taking from it at unsustainable levels by over fishing.  We have great power over this world we live in and we need to use it responsibly.  Just because we can, doesn't mean we should."
Learn to dive in Sussex, Kent & Surrey with Sussex Scuba diving courses



Kevin Charman - Assistant Instructor

Kevin decided to learn to dive when, in his own words, "a glittering football career came to a premature end" (I think he was about 44 when it ended "prematurely"). He decided he needed a new challenge and a new sport and scuba diving seemed to fit the bill well, in that he could continue to enjoy a great sport and, in time, and with experience he could also enjoy coaching again. After working his way through all the necessary courses and experiencing some of the worlds best diving in places such as Mauritius, various Caribbean islands, the Mediterranean, the Red sea and South Africa, Kevin qualified as a divemaster in November 2007, and soon after qualified as a DAN certified Advanced Oxygen administrator, finally becoming an Assistant Instructor in April 2010. He is now looking forward to getting more involved with assisting with teaching, and getting back into his favourite dive site - the lovely Horsea Island.

Learn to dive in Sussex, Kent & Surrey with Sussex Scuba diving courses

Russel Cottingham - Divemaster

Russel qualified as a diver back in 2003. As he says he completed the course in February which is supposedly the coldest month of the year – I suppose the would explain his love of UK diving !! He was originally drawn to Scuba diving via surfing, as a keen surfer he wanted something else to do when the surf is flat and scuba diving happened to fit the bill.
As well as being a newly qualified divemaster, Russel has worked his way up from open water right through to Master Scuba Diver – which is the highest level of qualification for a non professional diver. Along the way he has completed six specialties including drift diver, nitrox, wreck diver, underwater photography, deep diver and oxygen first aid. He is also a certified DAN Advanced O2 provider.
Russel has extensive UK dive experience including dives in Scotland , Northumberland, Cornwall , and the English Channel . In addition he has dived in the Red Sea and the Mediterranean . His favourite and most enjoyable dive was in Southern Egypt taking photos of a group of Oceanic White tip Sharks who were circling around him while doing his safety stop. “I hope that hasn't put any budding divers off”

The best thing about being a divemaster is helping to teach new divers to explore some of the most amazing places on earth, and being there to see their big smile after they qualify


Learn to dive in Sussex, Kent & Surrey with Sussex Scuba diving courses


David beer


David Beer - Divemaster

In 2001 David qualified as a diver , but didn't dive again until 2006, when, at Horsea Island, he rediscovered his love of diving. Soon afterwards, on a diving holiday in Tenerife, David dived on his first wreck and was hooked. “That first encounter made quite an impression on me. Somehow the wreck snuck up on us. We rounded a corner, I looked up, and there it was!! Fantastic!”

Although David is a wreck fanatic one of his favourite dives was at St Johns Caves in the southern Egyptian Red Sea. "The light shining down through the cavern was amazing, at points the area would just open and the sight would be spectacular - and don't get me started on the turtles!"

David has five specialties under his belt, including wreck, deep and navigation.  

David has dived extensively in the UK along the south coast including Brighton, Plymouth, Bridport and Cornwall. In addition he has made numerous dive trips to Tenerife and the Red Sea.

“The most rewarding part of being a DM is seeing the joy on a student’s face when they finish their last qualifying dive at Wraysbury

Learn to dive in Sussex, Kent & Surrey with Sussex Scuba diving courses

Andrea Beer - Divemaster

Andrea caught the diving bug in 2006 and hasn't looked back since! During her diving career, Andrea has completed 5 specialties and feels this stands her in good stead for helping students on the specialty and Advanced courses.

“My biggest thrill is to see all the happy faces at the end of an Open Water course, at sunny Wraysbury!”

She has dived a lot in the Red Sea, Tenerife and the UK - Cornwall in particular, is a favourite UK dive destination for Andrea.

Andrea's most memorable dive was during her Advanced course in Tenerife, diving on El Condisito, this was when her love of wrecks surfaced, and she continues to be an avid wreck fan!

Learn to dive in Sussex, Kent & Surrey with Sussex Scuba diving courses

Neil Wheeler - Divemaster

Neil started diving in 2005 completing his Open Water in Mauritius. Not wanting to become a holiday diver, he joined Sussex Scuba on his return and advanced through their guidance. Having gained experience diving overseas in Australia, Barbados, Egypt, Mauritius and Maldives; he much prefers UK diving. A very keen and experienced UK diver having dived at most of the main UK South Coast diving areas including, Bridport, Brighton, Plymouth, Newhaven and Wraysbury!. Having recently completed the Divemaster Internship he loves sharing his passion for diving with others, especially those experiencing scuba for the first time “There’s no finer satisfaction then seeing students with first time nerves through to fully qualified divers… and meeting up again on further courses”

Learn to dive in Sussex, Kent & Surrey with Sussex Scuba diving courses

Tom Jackson - Divemaster

Tom started diving in 2002 at the age of 12 when he passed his PADI Junior Open Water certification.  After completing his Advanced and several specialties including Wreck Diver, and Navigation, Tom completed his PADI Divemaster course in November 2010.  His passion for diving started after watching nature programmes on the television that introduced him to the underwater world.
For someone so young Tom is a very experienced diver who has dived in Barbados, Tobago, the Red Sea, Indonesia, Philippines and off the south coast of the UK. One of his first experiences of UK diving was sailing out of Brighton into a blizzard – an experience he is not in a hurry to repeat!
He thoroughly enjoys the roles of a Divemaster and gets satisfaction when he sees students complete a course with a smile on their face not wanting to leave the water!
In his own words "Sussex Scuba is a fantastic place to learn to dive, the staff are very knowledgeable and friendly creating a very enjoyable experience."



Learn to dive in Sussex, Kent & Surrey with Sussex Scuba diving courses


Tom Wilson - Divemaster

Tom first got interested in diving at the age of 10 when his dad, Gary went on holiday to Turkey with his friends and came back full of enthusiasm.  Gary had caught the diving ‘bug’ and like all good ‘bugs’ passed it on to all the family!

Tom did his first try dive in Spain in 2003 and became open qualified in 2004.  He went on to complete his Advanced Open Water, followed by specialties in Wreck, Deep and Nitrox.  Tom completed his Divemaster course in November 2010 under the watchful eye of Derek and Denise who, very bravely decided to offer him a staff position! 

He has dived in Spain, Majorca, Egypt and extensively in the UK.  He expects to add many more destinations in the future.

The final word should go to Tom.. !I look forward to being part of the Sussex Scuba Team as I love introducing new students to the world of diving along with the fun and banter we always have.”

Learn to dive in Sussex, Kent & Surrey with Sussex Scuba diving courses
Louren Knopp - Divemaster

Louren started her dive career when her dad asked her to join him on a Try Dive, she fell in love with it and hasn't stopped since! From the first Open Water class room session, she said she was going to be an Instructor! Since then, she has been steaming through the courses and diving as much as she could, whilst at university and juggling a job! But she managed to finish and get through it all and enjoy every second of it! She is passionate about diving and loves sharing her love for it with others, and gets a huge amount of satisfaction being with students, and seeing them come out the other end of courses with giant smiles! Louren is also an EFR Instructor, a DAN Advanced Oxygen and AED administrator.

Learn to dive in Sussex, Kent & Surrey with Sussex Scuba diving courses

Andrew Richards - Divemaster

Andrew first became interested in diving at about the age of 8 when he used to watch people scuba diving at Tunbridge Wells leisure centre whilst he went to swim club. Roll forward 23 years and Andrew decided he wanted to turn that childhood dream into reality. Picking Sussex Scuba from a google search saw Andrew talking to Denise at Sussex Scuba. “I'm interested in learning to dive” said Andrew, “I've got a place on an open water course in two weeks time!” said Denise.
Now five years on Andrew is a newly qualified Dive Master, having done all his training along the way with Sussex Scuba. He's dived in the UK, Egypt, Philippines and the Maldives, completing well over 100 dives. He loves diving, simply for the pleasure of diving. Like the other Dive Masters and Instructors at Sussex Scuba, he gets enormous pleasure helping students to learn to dive.

Learn to dive in Sussex, Kent & Surrey with Sussex Scuba diving courses

Robin Lawrence - Divemaster

Robin learnt to dive in Jordan in 2006 as part of a family holiday. After returning to the UK he looked long and hard but selecting the dive club he wanted to dive with and to continue his education. he eventually found Sussex Scuba and has not looked back since. He has gone from an Open Water Diver to Dive Master in the last five years. Along the way he has amassed a range of other qualification and experience including DAN O2 Advanced Oxygen and AED administrator and has had a lot fun along the way. Diving is his primary passion after his family. Robin has dived in a number foreign countries including Indonesia, the Philippines, The Red Sea, and Australia but according to Robin "nothing beats diving in the UK where the visibility, colour and life are just as good as any where else in the world !!!" Over the last year Robin has also extended his range of dive skills to include deeper diving and also diving with a rebreather..



Learn to dive in Sussex, Kent & Surrey with Sussex Scuba diving courses


Marc Thorpe - Divemaster

Marc's first experience of diving was while on holiday in Lanzarotte where he enjoyed two try dives. A year or so later and after two more dives in Turkey – he was hooked. 
After returning to the UK, and armed with a try dive certificate, he searched around the Internet ‘till he found what he was looking for – Sussex Scuba.  He proudly marched into the dive centre clutching his certificate that he believed qualified him as a diver.  No such luck -  a couple of dives, and putting his kit together once on resort gets nothing!!!
He passed his open water 26th July 2009 and now diving regularly, continued his training with Sussex Scuba, completing his Advanced Open Water followed by the Rescue diver training in 2010.  In addition to return trips to dive in Turkey and Lanzarotte he has also dived in Egypt, Wales, Along the South coast of the UK, Stoney Cove and of course Wraysbury.
Marc  has also completed specialties in Enriched Air, Underwater Navigation, Deep diver, Search and Recovery, Wreck diver, Drysuit specialty and DAN Oxygen Provider  and EFR course .
In Marc’s own words – “One of the main reasons I decided to become a Dive master is the memory of how helpful and friendly my dive masters were when I was learning to dive.  In turn I hope to help others become divers  by supporting them through the course, and passing on the benefit of the help and support I was given at Sussex scuba – I hope one day to go onto become an Instructor!!

Learn to dive in Sussex, Kent & Surrey with Sussex Scuba diving courses

Storm - Scuba dog

The school dog! Storm is a Weimaraner. His love of diving and divers started as a puppy when he was first brought into the shop. He quickly got used to the loud noises of the compressor and tanks discharging, and the people coming in and out. He is especially fond of training courses. He will always have a little wander in just to see who is there. This room is also particularly popular with him around lunch time when he likes to make sure that lunch is up to scratch !!

Storm's main hobby is chasing rabbits, as he is not that fond of water !!!


Back to Top
Learn to dive in Sussex, Kent & Surrey with Sussex Scuba diving courses


Sussex Scuba is a PADI 5 Star IDC Centre conveniently located in Sussex, providing scuba diving classes in Surrey, Sussex and Kent plus dive trips, taster sessions and dive holidays in the UK and overseas.
Want to learn to dive? Contact Sussex Scuba and join us on one of our upcoming scuba diving courses.

© 2005-2013 Sussex Scuba. All rights reserved.